Tribunal finds against FCA on individual fine/ban

The Upper Tribunal has published its decision in Markos Markou v FCA. FCA had decided to fine Mr Markou £25,000 and ban him. Mr Markou was sole director of a small mortgage and insurance intermediary (FSE). After a number of FCA concerns about the firm over time, FCA considered that Mr Markou had failed to comply with Statement of Principle 1 in his running of the firm as sole director, considering that his breach created a significant risk that financial crime could be facilitated, that he failed to act with integrity and that he committed the breach recklessly.  Mr Markou took the decision to the Tribunal, which concluded that the proposed financial penalty should not be imposed, and remitted the matter to the FCA with a direction not to impose any fine or other disciplinary sanction. The Tribunal was not satisfied that the decisions to withdraw Mr Markou’s approval and ban him were within the range of reasonable decisions open to the FCA on the basis that none of the factual allegations of recklessness, acting without integrity or failing to comply with Statement of Principle 1, or the facts on which they were based, had been established on the balance of probabilities.  In relation to the proposed withdrawal of approval and ban, again it remitted the matter to the FCA to reconsider in line with the Tribunal’s findings (which broadly were that Mr Markou had acted with integrity and not recklessly, that there was significant mitigation and also in line with the findings of the Tribunal in relation to the decision on FSE).  It also specifically directed FCA to consider whether it should allow FSE to recommence trading under Mr Markou’s supervision.

Emma Radmore